A lot has changed in nursing in the last 50 years. Sally Gray can tell you all about it. She started studying nursing in 1959.
"I wanted to be a chemical engineer but I didn't get into the high school program that had that. I got accepted into a high school nursing program. I thought I'd try it out and I actually wound up liking it," said Sally Gray, RN, Registered Nurse.
She studied nursing in high school. Her mornings were spent at the hospital.
"We did our clinicals. We did obstetrics was my first clinical. We did observation and we did some hands on patient care with the mother," said Gray.
Gray graduated high school with her LPN in 1962. Nursing back then was much different than it is today.
"It was very rigid. There was very little autonomy. You did what you were told. If a doctor walked on the unit and you were sitting, you gave him your chair. We didn't have a lot of high tech. Things were manual. You talked to patients. You gave them baths. You changed the beds. You went back in the afternoon. You gave them afternoon care," Gray said.
While working at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, she got her RN and Bachelor's Degree. She's been at the hospital since it opened in 1964. Gray says a lot has changed.
"The biggest change is obviously epic and the computerized systems. We started slow, and I'm not really computer savvy. So it took me a little longer," said Gray.
Gray says it's her patients who have kept her in the business for 52 years.
"I love what I do and I love the interactions. And that's what people have to think about, the kind of relationships that you form with patients and families and staff. And you have to like it to do it. And it's not always easy. And there are days when I say, 'Oh I shouldn't have done this.' I think we all have those days once in a while," Gray said.
As for Gray's future in nursing, she says retirement might be in the near future but it will be a hard decision to give up her passion for patients.